December manufacturing production jumped 0.8%, exceeding expectations of 0.5%, and ending a slump that began last March. Shelve those fears of a developing recession.
Thanks to a 3.3% gain in the past two months, production of business equipment is now at a new all-time high.
Ongoing gains in U.S. industrial and manufacturing production stand in sharp contrast to weakness in the Eurozone (where industrial production fell 3.5% from August through November), and Japan (where industrial production last November was down 9% year to date). Despite all the headwinds at home and abroad, the U.S. economy retains much of its inherent dynamism. I'm reminded once again that it almost never pays to underestimate the ability of the U.S. economy to overcome adversity.